We are proud to present this guest post by Kayla Smith, Marketing Coordinator at Schola, offering advice for parents about how to look for signs that it’s time for their children to change schools.
A school should be a place of excitement, curiosity, and relationship building. However, many students do not have this experience if they are at the wrong school. Learning can become an uphill battle when students are not at the school that best suits their needs and interests. But how do you know if you need to start searching for a new educational setting for your child? Here are three signs it’s time to change schools.
1. Your Child Is Disengaged
One key indicator that your child may not be in their ideal learning environment is their level of engagement at school. This is the attention, curiosity, optimism, interest, and passion your student has for learning. This can be hard to pick up on as parents, especially when you can only monitor your child after the school day ends. However, if teachers notice a lack of engagement in class, they may reach out to you.
Lack of engagement in class may look different for each student. Still, it can include having trouble paying attention, behavioral outbursts, or a lack of motivation. There are several signs of an unengaged student that you can notice at home, such as constantly wanting to skip school, ongoing difficulty learning the material, or a significant change in behavior.
There are several reasons a student may be disengaged at school, such as stress, feeling unwelcome or unsafe, or lacking meaningful connections with other students. These are strong indicators that your child might have more meaningful success at a different school.
2. Your Child Is Uninvolved
Does your child show any interest in joining clubs, sports teams, or extracurricular activities at their school? If they do, great! That indicates that they are comfortable enough with their school community that they want to become more immersed in it. If not, this is another red flag that they may not be at the right school for them. Spending time with their peers from school helps create a positive learning experience. Not wanting to get involved with the school community can negatively impact their overall experience at school.
Additionally, how does your child feel about school-hosted events? First off, understand that it’s normal for a student to be hesitant about a social event. Remember the awkwardness of standing on the gym floor waiting to be approached at the school dance? However, it is essential to recognize this lack of interest, as it could mean they are struggling to make positive connections with their teachers or other students. School involvement can help your student feel a sense of belonging, so encourage your child to get involved! If they push back, it might be a sign to start looking for other school options.
3. Your Child Receives Poor Grades
What are your child’s grades like? Clearly, poor grades do NOT mean your child is unintelligent. Grades can often be a sign of whether or not your student is at the right school.
Poor grades can mean several things.
- The teaching style may not mesh well with their learning style. For example, if the student is a hands-on learner, being taught via reading and listening may not make sense in their brain. This causes a disconnect and will likely be reflected in their grades.
- The content might be too easy. When students are not challenged, they lose the motivation to try. Even brilliant students may receive poor grades.
- The rigor of the curriculum may be too difficult. Some schools offer a more rigorous and college prep-oriented learning curriculum than others, which doesn’t suit all students. If the rigor is too high and the material moves fast, some students will continue to fall behind.
These can be indicators that their poor grades do not reflect their intelligence or effort. Instead, the school may not be the best learning environment for them.
Other Red Flags That It’s Time To Change Schools
- Your child does not mention any friendships they have formed.
- You consistently hear negative comments about their teachers.
- They are not completing their homework.
- They feel down when they are going to or coming home from school.
- They show an interest in an activity that isn’t offered at their current school (STEM, performing arts, robotics, foreign languages, etc.).
- They show unusual tiredness when they come home from school.
When To Take Action
Before making any important decision about switching schools, talk to your child! It’s their education, so it’s essential to have an open and honest conversation about their school experience to decide whether or not they want to switch schools. If, as a family, you choose to move schools, it’s also important to be mindful of the time of year you make the switch. Pulling your student out of school mid-semester and transferring them into a new school can sometimes cause more harm than good. If the curriculum is not the same at their new school, they may fall behind their peers. Not to mention, it’s tough to be a new kid! Forming friendships can be more difficult in the middle of the year versus the beginning of the fall or spring semester. To make sure your child has a smooth transition, be sure to communicate with both your current school and all prospective schools to make sure your child will be set up for success.
How To Take Action
Every parent wants their child to succeed, and this starts with being in the right learning environment. It’s good to keep an eye out for these key indicators that suggest your child may not be in the right educational setting. If you notice these tendencies in your child, it’s time to search for a new school. And that’s where Schola comes in.
Every child deserves to be in an educational environment where they can thrive, which is Schola’s number one goal. We help families discover, connect, and enroll their children in the ideal educational setting. On Schola.com, you can take ScholaMatch™ to find schools near you that meet your students’ needs, interests, and learning styles. Switching schools can be challenging, so we’re here to help your family every step of the journey.
Do you need individualized help finding the right school? After taking ScholaMatch™, our Schola Parent Outreach Team is there to connect with you and find the perfect fit for your child. Let’s place your student in the right classroom, where they will feel encouraged and supported to reach their full potential.
Charter Moms Chats
Watch Shawn Hoffman, Director of Director of Business Development at Schola, and Monica Hernandez, Marketing Specialist at Schola, speak with Inga Cotton on Charter Moms Chats on April 12, 2022 at 4:00 PM Central live on Facebook and YouTube.
Shawn Hoffman is the Director of Director of Business Development at Schola. Shawn has been involved in education for over 10 years, first in the classroom and eventually as a school coordinator. He specializes in cultivating relationships and now helps to promote education equity through his work with Schola. Shawn did his undergrad at UW-Madison and got his Master’s in Intercultural Communication from the University of Alcalá in Spain, where he lived for over nine years.
Monica Hernandez is a Marketing Specialist at Schola. Monica specializes in social media marketing content and email communication strategies to promote Schola’s mission and services to families and schools. Monica’s expertise includes copywriting, video editing, on-camera presence, and story-telling. She has a journalism & media studies degree from Rutgers University and her claim to fame is that she once met Paul Rudd in an elevator while interning at NBC New York.
Read More About School Search
- “School Choice Guide,” San Antonio Charter Moms
- “From Impressions to Details: Three Signs of a Good School Culture,” Oscar Ortiz, San Antonio Charter Moms, March 28, 2022
- “Tips for Searching for a New School for Your Child,” Carlos Melendez, Schola, November 12, 2021
- “5 Tips to Study Smarter, Not Harder,” Kayla Smith, Schola, November 10, 2021
- “15 Questions to Ask Instead of ‘How Was Your Day?'” Kayla Smith, Schola, October 4, 2021
- “5 Indicators of a Positive School Community,” Kayla Smith, Schola, June 28, 2021
- “5 Benefits of Extracurricular Involvement,” Kayla Smith, Schola, June 21, 2021
- “Find the Best Fit: 7 Different School Types,” Kayla Smith, Schola, June 1, 2021
- “Charter School Applications: What I Wish I Knew,” Inga Cotton, San Antonio Charter Moms, January 14, 2021
- “How to Find the Best Schools in San Antonio,” San Antonio Charter Moms, February 25, 2020
- “Launching the San Antonio Charter Schools App,” San Antonio Charter Moms, April 19, 2019
- “Finding the Right Schools in San Antonio for Your Children—MOMS Club of San Antonio NE Edition,” San Antonio Charter Moms, April 9, 2018